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    The following is from XenGamers:

    While Sega announced plans to release the GameCube version of Phantasy Star Online at their recent GameJam event, players were left with several unanswered questions. In an effort to rectify the situation, Sega released a statement today outlining their plans. Specifically, the trial version of Phantasy Star Online for the GameCube won't be broadband compatible. According to Sega, this is due to Nintendo's decision to release the GameCube broadband adapter separately this summer. While the finished version of Phantasy Star Online is expected to be broadband compatible, it's unknown whether the broadband adapter will be released simultaneously with the game in Japan. More important, online play will be free for the trial version, though possible server fees for the finished version remain undisclosed.

    In terms of hardware availability, the GameCube modem and keyboard will be available for purchase separately in Japan. While individual pricing hasn't been announced, Sega plans to offer bundles including the aforementioned peripherals and Phantasy Star Online.

    Source: XenGamers

    Yu Susuki has done it again:

    SAN FRANCISCO - (April 2, 2002) - SEGA® of America today announced that its critically acclaimed fighting game, "Virtua Fighter(tm) 4" for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, was the #1 selling title on the platform during its first week of sales according to independent retail data from NPD TRSTS (week ending 3/23). With lightning-fast gameplay action, breathtaking graphics and all new modes and features, "Virtua Fighter 4," was recently named the "Best Fighting Game Ever Made," by gaming enthusiast publication Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine.

    Created by legendary video game developer, Yu Suzuki, "Virtua Fighter 4" is the next generation in SEGA's blockbuster "Virtua Fighter(tm)" series. Including a new fighting engine built for speed and arcade-perfect graphics, "Virtua Fighter 4" adds an all new Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) "Training Mode," which allows players to coach their own computer-controlled character and challenge it to a match against their friends. Packed with new features, the game also includes ultra-high polygon character models, totally customizable fighting styles and new characters Lei Fei and Vanessa Lewis.

    "'Virtua Fighter' is one of SEGA's top franchises and bringing it to PlayStation 2 was a monumental occasion for us," said Peter Moore, president and COO, SEGA of America. "With our incredible development talent bringing both our established franchises and new content to all platforms, SEGA is already a heavyweight publisher in the industry." "Virtua Fighter 4" for PlayStation 2 is rated "T" for Teen, and is available now at retailers nationwide for $49.95.

    Jacky Chang,

    No surprises here...

    Source: SwirlVision

    Let's read this stuff from XenGamers, shall we?:

    Sega held their second annual GameJam event last week at the Tokyo International Forum. Drawing an estimated audience of 24,760, the two-day event is essentially a public preview of Sega's software lineup. At this year's show however, Sega had several surprises in store for attendees. To begin, SonicTeam producer Yuji Naka finalized details for the GameCube version of Phantasy Star Online. While the finished version is scheduled for release this summer, Sega plans to release a trial version of Phantasy Star Online for the GameCube this May. Players will be able to preorder the trial version and a GameCube modem for 9800 yen. A separate package consisting of the trial game, modem, and keyboard will also be available for 16600 yen. For reference, the finished version will be officially entitled Phantasy Star Online: Episode I & II.

    Continuing, Sega-AM2 producer Yu Suzuki confirmed plans for two new GameCube titles, Virtua Fighter Quest and Beach Spikers. Virtua Fighter Quest is described as a mixture of action and RPG elements, and is scheduled for release in 2003. Beach Spikers will be a home translation of Sega's arcade volleyball title, scheduled for release in 2002. According to Suzuki-san, the GameCube version of Beach Spikers will include twice as many teams as its arcade counterpart, and several new play modes including World Tour and A.I., amongst others. AM2 representatives also confirmed plans to release Ferrari F355 Challenge, the second installment in Sega's racing-sim series for the PlayStation 2 this summer. Other titles in development include Power Smash 2 and Aerodancing 4 for the PlayStation 2.

    Later in the exhibition, Sega subsidiary Red Entertainment unveiled GunGrave, a new mech-shooter in development for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Scheduled for release this summer in Japan, the game will feature the designs of famous anime director Yasuhiro Naito. While storyline specifics remain undisclosed, GunGrave was shown in playable form at the show.

    In terms of playable titles, Sega had an extensive lineup onhand including Gun Valkyrie (Xbox), Sega GT 2002 (Xbox), Shining Soul (GameBoy Advance), REZ (PlayStation 2), PowerSmash 2 (PlayStation 2), Phantasy Star Online (GameCube), Crazy Taxi (GameCube), GunGrave (PlayStation 2), Switch (PlayStation 2), Maze of the Kings (Arcade), Pinball of the Dead (GameBoy Advance), and Soul Surfer (Arcade), amongst others. Below are a handful of pictures taken on location this weekend, our thanks to Tsuno Okashi and Gpara.

    I like what they're doing over there with PSO... now only if they did that over here.

    Source: XenGamers

    Sega has gotten a burn in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly. Read the following from Swirlvision to get the goods.

    In the newest issue of the pop-culture mag, Entertainment Weekly, EW staffers highlighted the 100 top holiday gift ideas. Among the videogame systems and games making the cut were the Game Boy Advanced (45th place), Dance Dance Revolution (47th place), retro videogame packages (69th place), and the unholy trio, the PS2, X-Box, and Gamecube (34th place). The Sega Dreamcast unforunately made the "What Not to Give" list, which probably means EW staffers are too cool for graphics of near-PS2 caliber and a library of nearly twice as many games (at this point) for what soon will be 1/6th the price... whatever.

    Joining the DC on the WNTG list (You didn't hear? EW says abbreviating stuff is in! If you don't abbreviate, you suck!) are Furbies, Cathy coffee mugs (Because there's no more Cathy comics! Get it?!? Those EW staffers SO have their fingers on the pulse of society!), Nad's hair removing gel, and the Ab Roller. That would be a pretty damn bad group to be a part of, if the HHG list didn't include Castaway Wilson volleyballs, lamps from Friends, silverware from Dawson's Creek, and the #1 ranked item, the George Foreman grill. Thanks but no thanks, EW... I'd rather sit on my inflatable furniture and water my Chia Pet, which both also made the WNTG list.

    In other EW news, Britney Spears is cool, Buffy rules, and anything that hasn't been seen on TRL, or Will and Grace is lame.

    Give me a break... well, fans probably won't care too much, if at all, anyway. Still, I felt this was worth noting.

    Spurce: SwirlVision

    Peter Moore has made an official public apology to Sega fans over the cancellation of the Dreamcast Version of Shenmue 2 in the U.S. Said cancellation has angered many Sega fans, which may have prompted the following statement from Mr. Moore:

    "To our Sega fans,

    "First, I want to thank the legion of loyal Sega fans for their unwavering enthusiasm and support over the past years - your dedication has truly been invaluable. As you all undoubtedly know, this year Sega is transitioning from a hardware manufacturer into a platform-agnostic third party publisher. During this change, Sega has had to make some very difficult business decisions, including the cancellation of Shenmue II for Dreamcast in the U.S. market.

    "I realize that this announcement is a difficult one for many people to swallow, and I sincerely apologize. While I cannot detail all of the reasons that led up to this decision, I can tell you that it was made with the long-term interests of Sega fans in mind. No matter how difficult it seems, I want you to understand that any difficult choices that are made during this transition time are based on one bottom line: ensuring the longevity of beloved Sega franchises, including Shenmue. Sega is working hard to make the necessary decisions to drive our business forward while at the same time continuing to support our loyal fans.

    "Although the company may be changing -- we are still Sega. Although the ride has sometimes been rocky, our promise to our fans is this: We will continue to push the boundaries of gaming with new content and technology. We will continue to deliver new and innovative games. We will continue to put out the games that no one else can. We will continue to be Sega and bring you only the best that gaming has to offer. Bear with us - the ride is going to get a lot smoother..."

    Well... let's see how public reaction is....

    Source: FGN Online

    This information comes from Damian Grove, regarding Sonic 2 Hacking Notes:

    I figured that this is a fairly big importance for the Sonic community and figured it probably would be good to address it in the Sonic HQ news section.

    I have released my 'unreleased' Sonic 2 hacking notes to the public. I have held on these for a long time now (some over 2 years), but have decided to let the public eye see them. There are 21 text files all zipped up, filled with piles of information (47.2KB total -- uncompressed). These were planned for quite some time to be put on one of my sites --Sonic 2 Hacking Guide, but never got around to it. So finally, I decided to release them as is for those people who wanted them ASAP. You can download the notes from